Made-to-mea­sure

Plaza Uomo UK - - MANUAL -

cloth­ing has been gain­ing new ground in re­cent years. With the only real tai­lor in Stock­holm be­ing A.W. Bauer, North­ern Europe may still have a long way to com­pete with the likes of New York, Vi­enna, Lon­don and Mi­lan – yet this is about to change.

Con­sumers' un­der­stand­ing of masspro­duced clothes is be­ing chal­lenged, and part of the move­ment that yearns for a new ap­parel in­dus­try is em­bod­ied in the trunk show. Sim­ply put, the trunk shows refers to a sys­tem whereby tai­lors and cob­blers travel the world in search for new clients. Once a loyal group of cus­tomers has been found, they re­turn on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, giv­ing the cus­tomers a chance to try on items that are in the process of be­ing made, as well as plac­ing new or­ders. The phe­nom­e­non in it­self isn't new.

Trav­el­ling has been a nat­u­ral part of the two pro­fes­sions for cen­turies – the most fa­mous ex­am­ples be­ing the renowned Sav­ile Row cou­turi­ers who, since the 1960s, have been tour­ing the globe in search of new clients, at the mo­ment most of whom are to be found in the US and Middle-East. Ac­cord­ing to a re­li­able source on Sav­ile Row, trunk shows make up for forty to fifty per­cent of a typ­i­cal Lon­don tai­lor's turnover. The much hyped store The Ar­moury, based in Hong Kong and also, as of re­cently, New York, was one of the first to jump on the trunk show band­wagon. Hop­ing it would help set them apart from the com­pe­ti­tion, there's no doubt it has worked a treat. Their unique busi­ness ap­proach in­volves sell­ing items by care­fully se­lected brands while also work­ing with ex­ter­nal tai­lors and shoe­mak­ers who reg­u­larly visit the stores to se­cure new cus­tomers.

For The Ar­moury, the con­cept is key to their busi­ness and a sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor in the shops' turnover. And, since The Ar­moury is such a big name in the in­dus­try, it's in turn able to help out smaller, in­de­pen­dent tai­lors by rep­re­sent­ing them. Liver­ano & Liver­ano, Orazio Luciano, Ciccio Ja­pan, the trouser maker Am­brosi Napoli and the shoe­maker Saint Crispin are some of the la­bels whose suc­cess can be at­trib­uted to the help­ing hand of­fered by The Ar­moury.

With con­sumers' in­creas­ing aware­ness of the role sus­tain­abil­ity and longevity play in the fash­ion in­dus­try, the de­mand for made-to-mea­sure is bound to grow. As for North­ern Europe and Swe­den, this geo­graphic area will no doubt be­come a tar­get for tai­lors and cob­blers look­ing for new clien­tèle. A num­ber of play­ers have made a name for them­selves in Swe­den re­cently, in­clud­ing Florence based Sar­to­ria CorCos, Pol­ish Zaremba Be­spoke and Neapoli­tan Napolisum­isura. Sell­ing pre­mium footwear by UK based Gaziano & Gir­ling and Aus­trian-Ro­ma­nian Saint Crispins, the shoe shop Skoak­tiebo­laget in Stock­holm have taken on a num­ber of new part­ners, spe­cial­is­ing in be­spoke shoes.

The se­cond an­nual edi­tion of the S hoegaz­ing Su­per Trunk Show, which took place in Stock­holm in Septem­ber last year, was al­ready four times the size of the orig­i­nal edi­tion in 2014. A golden op­por­tu­nity for Europe's shoe in­dus­try, the so­cial event hosted sev­eral ex­hibitors who show­cased their prod­ucts and took on new or­ders from cus­tomers who, as of only a few years ago, would have had to travel abroad for that kind of ex­clu­sive ser­vice.

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